Perfect Eyebrows

The eyebrow is one of the most significant features of the human face. Framing the eye, it conveys emotion and expression, and can animate the face in ways that other features do not. Throughout history, the eyebrow has been considered one of the essential elements of feminine facial beauty, and whether the fashion was for a full, lush brow or a nearly invisible one, brows have been plucked, painted, powdered, tattooed, and dyed to a shape and look that women want.

Reasons Why Eyebrows Stop Growing

Like any other aspect of the face, it is no wonder that this feature can cause distress when damaged or no longer has a satisfactory appearance. Sadly, it is not uncommon for over plucked eyebrow hairs to cease regrowing over time and what was once done to improve their appearance leaves the natural eyebrows permanently asymmetrical, too thin, or even bare.

As with other bodily hair, certain conditions such as thyroid problems or nutritional deficiencies can cause the hairs of the eyebrow to fall out over time, or to simply never grow. Accidental damage such as burns or scarring can result in loss of part or all of the follicles. Until recently, restoring a natural and beautiful condition to lost or damaged brows has been less than satisfactory.

Common Solutions to Sparse Eyebrows

Redrawing missing or sparse eyebrows is the most common method used to give thin eyebrows a fuller, more filled in appearance. However, this can become a frustrating and dispiriting start to each morning. Some women never feel confident or satisfied with the results and suffer anxiety about leaving the house or meeting friends.

Coloring Products, Powders & Dyes
Although there are many over-the-counter products out there that promise to “regrow” eyebrow hair, none are approved by the FDA for such use. Some products promise to “strengthen and “condition” eyebrow hair but these are empty words that are meaningless in the real world. What these products often merely do is “coat” the hair with a fiber, powder or dye that makes it appear thicker while filling in the vacant areas between hairs. The end result is still a colored in look that is one-dimensional.

Example of a sparse or thin eyebrow due to overplucking with tweezers.

Whether it’s with an eyebrow pencil, eyebrow powder, or gel, or a product that promises to “strengthen & condition” existing hairs - not everyone wants a "drawn-in" look where natural hairs should be growing. And for most men with scarred or damaged eyebrows, a "cosmetic" appearance to their face that looks like “make-up” is simply not acceptable.

“A man or woman’s eyebrow should always have that three-dimensional appearance,” said Dr. Shelly Friedman, a dermatologist and hair restoration surgeon with 26 years experience. “Over plucking them and then coloring them back often leaves them with that one-dimensional look. Women who come to see me for their eyebrows are trying to get away from that one-dimensional appearance.”

Permanent Make-up & Tattooing

Since the late 20th Century, the art of cosmetic tattooing has become highly refined and is sometimes used to color in missing eyebrow hair to achieve a fuller look. However, this is only an optical illusion that still is noticeable upon closer examination. Tattooed eyebrows are still “one-dimensional” in appearance whereas existing eyebrow hair is three-dimensional in nature. The major complaint most often heard about eyebrow tattooing is that if one is not happy with the result, it is difficult to undo due to it's permanency.

Latisse ® for Eyebrows

Some women believe that using Latisse ® (a product that help eyelashes grow longer) will work on eyebrows. Latisse has not been approved for eyebrow hair and can only make existing eyelash hair grow longer – it DOES NOT regrow eyebrow hair that has been permanently lost to over plucking, scarring, or damage.

Although a great product for eyelashes, the company’s own website does not indicate it will regrow lost hair due to over plucked, scarred, or damaged eyebrows:

LATISSE® is a prostaglandin analog, indicated to treat hypotrichosis of the eyelashes by increasing their growth including length, thickness and darkness. – – (Notice it does not say regrow lost hair).

Minoxidil for Eyebrows:

In online forums and fashion tip blogs, a minority of women are reporting mixed success applying 5-percent minoxidil for men on their eyebrows. They report some new hair growth and “hair thickening.” However, a majority of women are reporting no success.

Although some women swear by its use, minoxidil is not indicated for eyebrows and can cause damage to the eye. Minoxidil is most effective for men and women with thinning of the hair in the mid-scalp and crown area and requires twice a day application. It is not effective when the hair root has been permanently damaged or plucked out because the main ingredient cannot influence a hair bulb that is simply not there anymore.

These two products, although wonderful for their intended use, are being misused by some women who are attempting to regrow lost eyebrow hair. They do not work on eyebrows and are not approved for eyebrow hair regrowth.

“If Minoxidil worked for over plucked eyebrows it would also work for patients with severe traction alopecia and in my 26 years of practicing dermatology and hair restoration, I can assure women that Minoxidil will not regrow hair that has been permanently lost to traction alopecia,” Dr. Friedman said.

The minority of women who report some success using minoxidil for their eyebrows might be seeing hair regrowth as part of the normal 3-stage hair growth cycle. In other words, this lost hair would have returned on its own – without using minoxidil. Also, the minoxidil might thicken eyebrow hairs, in limited cases, which gives the appearance of new hair growth.

Even if minoxidil WAS indicated for eyebrows (it’s not), and did Work (it doesn’t), it would require twice a day application for the rest of your life.

Eyebrow Hair Restoration

More recently, the same procedures used to transplant hair for men and women with hair loss have been developed to actually repair & regrow lost, sparse, and over plucked eyebrow hair. Vigorous hair follicles can be removed from the back of the scalp and surgically implanted along the brow-line to fill-in the damaged eyebrow.

A delicate but comparatively safe process, skilled hair transplant doctors [like Dr Shelly Friedman] who specialize in follicular hair restoration can achieve natural-looking and permanent results, restoring both the appearance and confidence of their patients.

Once prepared for surgery, the patient receives a local anesthetic and a one to two inch-long strip of healthy hair is removed from the back of the head. The donor removal area is then carefully re-sutured in such a way that minimizes the visible scar. The remaining hair from the back is more than enough to cover and camouflage this area. Unless you are planning to shave your head bald, no-one will see the donor area scar.

The donor-strip of hair is then separated and divided into single-hair follicles. Tiny incisions are made along the eyebrow and angled in such a way that the new follicles will grow in the direction of the original eyebrow hairs. The more expertly this is done, the more natural your new eyebrow will appear. The new follicles are then inserted, only one or two at a time. Depending on the initial hair-loss, between 50-350 hairs may be implanted in each brow.

Before & After Photos

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Although it might take a few months for these new transplanted eyebrow hairs to grow in, once established, your new eyebrows will be thicker, fuller or longer for a lifetime. They will look great and have that appearance like you always wanted. No more filling them and drawing them out with colouring products.